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more involved in what Mr Bright answer that question in the negative calls“ European complications.” The without letting the principle involved process was as inevitable as any in in it lead us in any way beyond the nature. It is entirely false and ab- limits of sound sense and national insurd to say that in former times terest; but it is impossible for Mr
England endeavoured to keep herself Bright to answer it at all, without free from European complications," – receding from his favourite principle for, compared with the extent of her of absolutely abstaining from war means and opportunities, she then save when we are attacked upon our showed as much relish for foreign own shores. war, and spent as much money in Mr Bright is so much of a dreamer, such work, as she has done since the that he is ignorant of the character, Revolution. But it is quite true that not only of the aristocratic classes her relations and complications with whom he defames, but even of “the foreign states were very much less people” whose champion he assumes then than now. Is this a discovery? to be. The aristocracy are all for Certainly it can appear so to no one war,—the people are all for peace. but a monomaniac. Mr Bright might So says Mr Bright; but we cannot as well praise our ancestors of the see one tittle of evidence for any 16th and 17th centuries for not having such notion. It is just eighty years made war on the shores of the Pacific; since “ the people" came into proand have denounced our annexations minence on the Continent. They had in India, and our wars with China long before made their voice heard and Persia, as things totally opposed in our own Islands. More than two to the practice of our Government centuries ago they placed Cromwell, before the Revolution! Besides, let one of themselves, at the head us whisper a word in this righteous of the State, and we know how he Quaker's ear. The nations of Eu- stretched to the uttermost the prinrope, from isolated units, have be- ciple of interfering in the affairs of come parts of one commonwealth. Other States. It was Chathan, the Instead of hermits, each content with great commoner,” who tamed the minding itself, they have grown into pride of_the Bourbons, when the a Society, which, like
all societies, has Family Pact bad leagued France, by common consent made laws for Spain, Parma, Modena, and Naples itself, in order to abrogate the bar- in an alliance offensive and defensive. barous law of the strongest, and to And it was his son, plain Mr Pitt, who maintain a regime of justice and confronted alike the red republicanpeace amongst all its members. In ism of Robespierre and the iron deskeeping this code of international potism of Napoleon. What did the law consists the morality of nations; people do in France the instant they just as in keeping the laws of their got the government into their own country consists the morality of in- hands ? Surely we need not rehearse, dividuals. And when Mr Bright tells even for Mr Bright's enlightenment, us truly that nations, like indivi- the system of universal propagandduals, have their duties, and that ism, of universal interference in the “there is no permanent greatness to internal affairs of other States,- in a nation except it be based upon fine, of universal war, into which morality,” we are tempted to ask the French people and their demawhat would he think of a nation that gogue leaders plunged. There is would not stir a hand to check fraud no intolerance like that of the and oppression, unless these were demagogue — of which truth Mr directed against itself? If, in the so- Bright himself is a pretty good exciety or commonwealth of nations, a ample ;-and there is no class so powerful State remain neutral while regardless of consequences, or smaller States are being crushed and ready to engage in war, as the mob. annihilated, is the conduct of such Although the United States are ena State based upon the morality of tirely removed from the complicawhich Mr Bright approves, and with- tions of European politics, the Cabiout which, he says, no nation can net of Washington is wonderfully be permanently great ? We could pugnacious, considering its small
opportunities for war and its rare the war." Yet no sooner does he occasions of offence. It conquers find it necessary to hold up an imaand annexes to the best of its ability ginary tableau before the men of in its own continent; and so far is Birmingham, than he ignores alike it from holding Mr Bright's principle history and his own words, and exof non-interference with the affairs of claims how peaceful would be the others, that it presumptuously sports policy of this country if the workingthe Monro doctrine, by which all classes had the supreme power in Powers but itself are forbidden to the State! To such nonsense does make any settlement in the New Mr Bright's crotchet carry him,-to World! And the American “people,” such absurd drivel does his oratory as is well known, not only back their descend. republican rulers in all such courses, If the working-classes are very but on every occasion of slightest lambs and Quakers in Mr Bright's offence, or of difference with a foreign opinion, the aristocracy, on the other Power, cry out in most preposterous hand, are in his eyes a cruel and inifashion for war. Or let Mr Bright look quitous set of men, who have a selfish at home. It was only by the help of desire to keep the country constantly the aristocracy that Walpole was able engaged in war. We have already to stand out at first against the popu- shown that the facts are quite oplar clamour for war with Spain,--the posed to this hypothesis ; but we can nobles were for peace, the people for also show that self-interest must ever war; and when the march of events impel the aristocracy to a policy of at length beat Walpole, and war peace. Does not history tell us that was reluctantly declared, the bells in almost all wars the aristocracy are peeled from every steeple, and bon- the greatest losers,— losing the most fires blazed in the streets, to express lives, and bearing the chief burdens ? the popular exultation. The war In proportion to their numbers, war with France, reluctantly engaged in costs them far more lives than it by Mr Pitt, was energetically op- costs any other class in the commuposed by the great Whig families, nity. It has been so from the days of the most powerful section of the Cannæ and Pharsalia down to present aristocracy. And when Mr Bright times. The old patrician families of inveighs against Lord Palmerston's Rome were almost annihilated in the policy in the Pacifico affair, has he desperate wars which preceded and forgotten that it was in the House made possible the imperial despotism of Lords that that bellicose policy of the Cæsars. The wars of the Roses, was condemned, and that in the and again the wars of the CommonHouse of Commons it was expressly wealth, had a similar effect upon the supported !-his war-loving Tories old nobility of England. The wars being on the side of peace, and of the Crusades impoverished and his peaceful Liberals and Radicals decimated the general nobility of backing up the bellicose Minister ! Europe. And as the nobles lost Finally, to come down to the present ground by these wars, the power of day, was it not the working-classes the commonalty was increased. Let and the House of Commons who Mr Bright turn to any historian he were the most ardent advocates and pleases, whether of our own or of supporters of the war with Russia ? other countries, and he will find Nothing could exceed the reluctance that war has been the great deof our rulers to engage in that war. stroyer of the old houses, and an They sought by every means in their important elevator of the power and power to keep out of it; whereas "the influence of the people. Every war people” resolutely, and even fiercely, throws our great houses into mourndemanded that the Czar should not ing to a far greater degree than any be allowed to trample under foot the other section of the nation; and law of nations. You were con- every war elevates a number of comsenting parties to that war,” said moners to the ranks of the aristoMr Bright himself, scolding the cracy. The British aristocracy are working classes in his Glasgow let- not a class of idlers. The elder sons ter,—" your voice was in favour of apply themselves to agriculture and
the management of the land, quite' them to the service; and if they as thoroughly and ably as Messrs look for reward at all, it is in the Bright and Cobden to manufactures ; voice of fame, and in the thanks of and we should think the manage their country. Despite Mr Bright, ment of the land is quite as difficult they will not look for it in vain. a thing, and as important to the The nation, he says, lives in the cotnation, as the superintendence of a tage ; but there is not a cottage in flannel or cotton mill. The cadets the land that does not now echo the join the army or navy,- preferring acclaim that "the great houses have these services not certainly from any borne them well in the fight." pecuniary motives, but because they The impulsiveness and imprevoyare most congenial to the chivalrous ance of the lower classes make them spirit natural to all aristocracies. as prone to rush recklessly into war, Mr Bright“ does” political economy, as the wider vision and habitual as well as history, for himself ; but self-control of the upper classes tend if he would turn to M'Culloch and in the other direction. But the diffeother authorities in this science, he rent manner in which war-taxation would find that the chief character- affects the upper and lower classes istic of the military service is the is of itself a strong reason for the small pay attached to it, compared to former being generally (as we find the dangers and hardships of that them to be on the side of peace, profession. Were our aristocracy and the latter on the side of war. drones, they would stay at home, and Who but the upper classes bear the simply seek to live comfortably upon chief burdens of war ? Who but their money. But, far from doing they have that reserve wealth, from so, they are to be found in every re- which all taxation is chiefly drawn, giment and in every campaign, bear- and upon which in extraordinary ing every hardship and confronting emergencies taxation falls exclusiveevery danger with the high spirit of ly? Even in time of peace (if we their race.
“There goes ten thousand except the self-imposed taxes on toa-year !" was the remark overheard bacco and strong drinks), the workin the Peninsula as a young ensign, ing classes contribute a very small in one of the Duke's rapid marches, proportion of the national burdens; appeared dragging himself painfully and in war the extra revenue is raised along by the side of his wearied regi- chiefly by the Income-tax, from which ment. The eulogium of the old the lower classes are specially and French general to his regiment of entirely exempt. War, in fact, is a Scottish gentry at Roussillon time when large sums are drawn “ Le gentilhomme est toujours gentil- from the upper classes, and spent homme, et se montre tel dans besoin among the lower. Where did the et dans le danger”—is as true now as eighty millions sterling spent in at any period of our history. On the the late war go to? Only a small bleak plateau of Sebastopol, or in the portion of it was spent abroad in the dripping perilous trenches of that vicinity of the seat of war; ninetwelvemonth's leaguer, as now under tenths of it were spent among ourthe torrid sun of India, the gentry selves. The shipping-trade and shipof England have been ever foremost builders prospered amazingly ; so in the fray, most patient under suf- did the iron-trade in all its branches, fering, and have fallen most thickly from the pits and furnaces of Wales in the red harvests of death. And and Scotland, to the cutlers and gunwhat do they seek to gain by this makers of Sheffield and Birmingham, strange sacrifice of ease and life? and the cannon-founders in our arIs it the ensign's £96 a-year that senals, --so did the woollen-factories attracts our gentry-those "greedy, of Manchester, Leeds, Galashiels, and selfish aristocrats of friend Bright's even Hawick, — not forgetting the vocabulary? Is it the captain's coal-trade and colliers, who found a meagre half-pay, after twenty years' new market opened to them for the of service, for which they toil as supply of large steam-marine soldiers ! No, truly. It is the required york of war and high spir race that impels transpor
labour itself of
all kinds rose in value all over trembles on the life-thread of one the country. And wages ever must man. Popular discontent and warso rise in times of war, when so like aspirations seem to grow rifer many extra millions of money are in Italy. At Venice lately, when spent by Government amongst the Ristori" as Judith declaimed the industrial classes, and when the la- words, “Tell your children that bour market is thinned by the extra every war is sacred which is waged drafts of men for the army and navy. in defence of your native land," the Mr Bright, we believe, has a woollen- whole theatre, under the very eyes factory : if he fared like his neigh- of the Austrian authorities, rose in bours, he must have made a pretty tumultuous applause. The spark good thing of it during the war, get- once struck, there are other countries ting back in profits much more than which will catch fire; and the result he paid in extra taxes; and if he of these revolutionary risings can acted like his neighbours (as we hardly fail to be a war of appalling doubt not he did), the workers in magnitude. It is surely symptomatic his employ would likewise profit by of monomania that Mr Bright should the high wages of the time. On all think the best way to keep this counthese accounts, it becomes him to try clear of such' “ European comrevise his theories on this subject plications” is to give the workingbefore he again comes before the classes a predominant power in the public with the parade of an in- State! On the other hand, Mr structor.
Bright's friend, Mr Dunlop, M.P., At no time in the world's history sees the absurdity of this, but makes could Mr Bright's theory as to the a similar demand for an extensive essentially pacific temper of the franchise for the purpose of compelmasses have been so entirely out of ling our Government to abandon its place as at present. “War is a game system of non-intervention, and to which, were the people wise, kings adopt one of active_support to would not play at,” said the poet of the nationalities.” He says we old. The people, says the poet, were should have helped Hungary against not wise in those days : no one doubts Russia and Austria, Rome against that they are much wiser now,-yet France, &c.; and adds, “There is no the only difference in their conduct result of the extension of the franin this respect is, that they now take chise in which I should more war as a game which they desire to heartily rejoice than this,—that it play at themselves. War - making would force our Government into & nowadays is more in vogue with the different course of policy than any people than with their rulers. The party of our statesmen have bitherto kings and governments of Europe at pursued, . . . taking up its ground present desire peace above all things. as the steady supporter of liberty in With Napoleon III. as peace-maker every part of Europe, that all freegeneral (though his conduct in the men may rely on us to give them Charles-et-George affair has some- moral weight and confidence, and, what detracted from his honours in if circumstances favoured, material this respect) the various powers are help.” There is no doubt that Mr as diligent as may be in cultivating a Dunlop is right, and Mr Bright good understanding with one another. entirely wrong, in his interpretation In truth, despite Mr Bright's theories, of the popular sympathies, and of the it is not from kings at all that the effects which would follow a great impulse to war is nowadays to be lowering of the franchise; but we apprehended,,but from the "peo- opine that the change which the ple.” The next war that comes is member for Greenock desires to proto be looked for not from the rulers, duce in our foreign policy, is quite as but from the ruled. The fires of dis- far wrong on the one side as Mr union and revolt are smouldering Bright's is on the other. We thank all throughout Turkey, and at no God there is throughout our people a distant date that wide empire threat- keen patriotism and ardent hatred ens to fly to pieces like an explod- of despotism and oppression everying bombshell. The peace of France where : but it is a force to be hus
banded, not wasted. A steam-engine be safe without an army at home, and will do little if its steam is constantly have no more Crimean wars, we must blowing off. And it is only when witness a great change in the condiguided by calm statesmanship, and tion of the Continent. Look at the when controlled by the due fear of map of Europe. There is Russia—a war-taxes on the part of the upper wide sea of soldiers, ever encroaching and middle classes, that the generous on her neighbours both in Europe and but unreflecting war-passions of the Asia. There are Austria and Prussia,
can be kept within due both essentially military powers,—the bounds, and directed to the most one a military despotism by necessity useful results.
of her internal condition, the other, Although all is quiet on the sur- military in self-defence. And close face at present, there are trying to our own shores is France—an times coming for this country, and empire of the sword, backed by Mr we will need wary and resolute Bright's favourite system of universal pilots at the helm of affairs. No- suffrage. In the face of these things, thing happens by mistake ; and and in the face of a future which by since the last war closed, it has no means looks peaceful, it becomes often seemed to us that, among Great Britain to be most circumspect other purposes of Providence, that in her policy, and to look well to her
sent to awake this defences. Taken in connection with country betimes from the long sleep the signs of the times, the warnings and false dream of peace and se
in Montalembert's recent work are curity into which it had so com- not to be disregarded. Whether or placently sunk. That war was brief, not he is right in his estimate of our like a prelude, yet so sharp and means of defence, he at least expresses severe as to warn us of the tremen- the views and sentiments entertained dous military power and ability of the of this country by Continental statesContinental States. It came, as it men. And of these views we submit seems to us, to arouse our nation to the following, for the consideration, the increasingly momentous aspect of not only of Mr Bright, but also of foreign politics, and to the obvious those who think very differently from deficiency in our own means of de- him on the subject of the national fence, in order that, when a still defences :greater war comes upon Europe, our cradle-isle of freedom may be bul- It is from without that she is menaced
“England's danger is not from within. warked for the contest, and not in by the real perils to which she may sucthat state of woeful lethargy and cumb, and with respect to which she helplessness in which the outbreak of entertains an unfortunate delusion. At the Crimean war found us. It will not the close of the first Empire, Europe, do to say that, as almost every war
with the exception of France, cherished has found us unprepared at the out
an intimate accord with England, peneset, and yet we generally did well trated, moreover, as it then was, with in the end, therefore we may safely the recent victories of the armies of the allow the same thing to happen again. longer so to-day. The English army has
latter in Spain and Belgium. It is no Every year the engines of war grow indubitably lost its prestige. Again, the more powerful, and the means of gradual progress of liberal ideas in Engconcentration and attack more rapid land, and the retrograde march of the and effective; so that the tardiness great Continental States for some years which was but costly and damaging back in the direction of absolute power, to our prestige in former times, may have marshalled the two political sysnow prove all but fatal. There is no tems on two roads altogether different, undue war-spirit in our Government but running parallel to each other, and or our aristocracy: compared with sufficiently near to admit of a conflict the other classes of the nation, it is taking place from day to day. There entirely the other way. And if Mr exists, besides, against England, in the
minds of many, a moral repulsion, which Bright be really desirous of inculcat- of itself alone constitutes a serious daning his doctrines, let him go amongst ger. the Continent wers, and preach “The horror an th which the disarmame If we are to spectacle of her